clock menu more-arrow no yes

Barn-Style Sconces

Charming and practical, these hardworking fixtures deliver high-performance light and a vintage look to any home

Fresh Off the Farm

Photo by Mark Weiss

Consider them the original industrial lights. Since these gooseneck sconces with wide-brimmed shades first graced the exteriors of agricultural buildings in the 1930s, barn lights have gone through more than a few changes. Originally made of steel coated with green porcelain enamel, they were styled with slimmer, flared shades when they surfaced outside gas stations and storefronts a few years later; they got protective bulb cages as warehouse and factory lamps, and went aluminum in the 1960s. But throughout this evolution, barn-style lights have continued to provide a glare-free expanse of light capable of illuminating large spaces.

Today's versions come in a wide range of finishes, sizes, and colors. With optional glass globes, these souped-up sconces can hang just about anywhere, from rustic cottages to contemporary homes. And while most are rated for exterior use, they make great indoor lamps, too. Here, 12 that prove barn lights work well beyond the farm.

TOH Pro Tip: "Barn-light shades can be heavy. So before mounting, it's a good idea to switch out your plastic junction box for a steel or metal one, easily found at home centers. That way the fixture will be sure not to fall off the wall." —Bryan Scott, owner, Barn Light Electric

Fluted Flair

Photo by Mark Weiss

Made of: Aluminum with a black powder coating

Shade width: 16 inches

Where to hang it: Above a side door, where its whimsical but versatile shape won't have to compete for attention with other light fixtures.

About $248; Rejuvenation

Exclusive TOH discount—25% off! Details at TOH Deals and Discounts

Colorful Cage

Photo by Mark Weiss

Made of: Galvanized steel with a built-in red cage and ribbed glass

Shade width: 16 inches

Where to hang it: In a country-style kitchen to throw a spotlight on a windowless breakfast nook.

About $323; Barn Light Electric Company

Cobalt Colored

Photo by Mark Weiss

Made of: Aluminum with a metallic-blue powder coating

Shade width: 12 inches

Where to hang it: Over an outdoor grill to cast helpful task light. Its fun color will surely perk up any evening BBQ.

About $304; Lighting Universe

Edison Era

Photo by Mark Weiss

Made of: Solid brass with a nickel finish

Shade width: 10 inches

Where to hang it: In a home office filled with warmly stained woodwork or as a pair flanking the living room sofa for an industrial-feel accent.

About $219; Littman Brothers

Retro Charm

Photo by Mark Weiss

Made of: Aluminum with a baked-on red enamel finish

Shade width: 10 inches

Where to hang it: Use a pair of these compact lights to frame a front door or as an unexpected accent above bedside tables.

About $217; Barn Light Electric Company

Domed Design

Photo by Mark Weiss

Made of: Aluminum with caramel powder coating

Shade width: 12 inches

Where to hang it: Place one every 3 to 5 feet along exterior walls to light up a wraparound porch or back deck after dark.

About $240; Lighting Universe

Inner Glow

Photo by Mark Weiss

Made of: Aluminum with a baked-on dark green enamel finish

Shade width: 12 inches

Where to hang it: In the mudroom of a cottage or bungalow, where its elongated shape and cage cutouts will echo the home's clean lines.

About $308; Barn Light Electric Company

Exclusive TOH discount—15% off! Details at TOH Deals and Discounts

Nostalgic Feel

Photo by Mark Weiss

Made of: Aluminum with a green powder coating

Shade width: 14 inches

Where to hang it: Against cedar siding or in a family room with exposed rafters, where its rustic simplicity will look at home.

About $221; Rejuvenation

Already Weathered

Photo by Mark Weiss

Made of: Aluminum shade and stainless-steel cage with a hand-painted finish

Shade width: 10½ inches

Where to hang it: On a post by a back porch, where its globe- style bulb can light up nearby garden paths.

About $98; Bellacor

Well Aged

Photo by Mark Weiss

Made of: Solid copper with a patinated finish

Shade width: 12 inches

Where to hang it: Against a brick wall, where its verdigris patina will visually pop, complemented by the soft glow of its frosted glass bulb cover.

About $394; SignBracketStore.com

Exclusive TOH discount—15% off! Details at TOH Deals and Discounts

Nautical Style

Photo by Mark Weiss

Made of: Polished solid copper

Shade width: 12 inches

Where to hang it: Let it shine in a crisp blue-and-white kitchen or cast a warm glow amid cherry cabinets.

About $138; CSN Lighting

Guiding Light

Photo by Mark Weiss

Made of: Powder-coated aluminum

Shade width: 16 inches

Where to hang it: Over a garage door so the reflective white interior of its broad shade can work the night shift illuminating a dark driveway.

About $218; Barn Light Electric Company